Serbia & Montenegro Move To U20 European Final

22.07.2006

Nenad Mijatovic made four free throws in the final 19 seconds as Serbia & Montenegro beat Italy 89-83 in double overtime to reach the final of the Ostchem U20 European Championship Men.

Mijatovic and Nikola Pekovic combined for 44 points for Miroslav Nikolic's team, who will play in Sunday's final against either Slovenia or hosts Turkey, who were playing the other semi-final later Saturday.

Mijatovic scored eight of his 21 points and Miljan Rakic converted a three-point play in the second overtime session as Italy missed four three-pointers and committed two turnovers over the final five minutes.

Pekovic led all scorers with 23 points and had eight rebounds. 

Nikola Dragovic added 11 points and 10 rebounds while Milenko Tepic had 14 points, six rebounds and four steals.

Luigi Da Tome (Italy)
Luigi Da Tome had just 6 points against Serbia & Montenegro
Michele Antonutti paced Italy with 22 points and Luca Vitali had 20. Luca Lechthaler chipped in 14 points, but Luigi Da Tome scored just six points and fouled out after 25 minutes of action.

Pekovic got Serbia & Montenegro off on the right foot, scoring 12 points in the first quarter to give the Serbs a 23-15 lead after 10 minutes.

Nikolic's team pushed the lead to 10 points - 31-21 - with 5:53 left in the half. But Italy coach Pino Sacripanti called a timeout and the team responded with a 21-4 run to close the second quarter with a 42-35 advantage.

Pekovic again took his team on his shoulders, scoring eight points as Serbia & Montenegro pulled even 48-48. The Italians led 55-54 going into the fourth quarter.

After Antonutti's three-pointer gave Italy a 60-54 lead, Serbia & Montenegro scored seven straight points to go ahead 61-60.

Mijatovic buried a three-pointer with 1:04 left in regulation to give Serbia & Montenegro a 70-68 lead. But Vitali made two free throws with 19 seconds left to even the game, and Ivan Maras missed a three-point attempt at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.

A Vitali three-pointer and two free throws gave Italy a 76-72 advantage with 3:04 left in the first overtime. After Mijatovic's three-pointer with 55 seconds, Antonutti hit two free throws as Italy led 78-75 with 49 seconds remaining.

But Maras made his shot this time, hitting a three-pointer with 11 seconds to even the game at 78-78.

Francesco Gergati missed a three-pointer at the buzzer, forcing a second overtime.


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